The cooperative of the Persons with Disability in Bataraza is soon to open its consumers’ cooperative after it recently received seed capital of Php 100,000 from Coral Bay Nickel Corporation (CBNC) thru its Information, Education and Communication fund.
CBNC donated Php 100,000 to the Bataraza Persons with Disability Consumers Cooperative (BPWDCC) on Friday, 10th of September 2021 in hopes to help the BPWDCC to start its own business once they receive their certificate of registration from the Cooperative Development Authority.
“We want to strengthen and empower them. That is why we have been supporting them for many years now. In the past, we’ve provided them assistive devices and supported them on various trainings. But this one (cooperative), this is something more sustainable. I just hope that this business will do well, for the benefit of the members,” said Laurence Amores, the Community Relations Section head of CBNC.
The PWDs have received several projects from CBNC for many years now. They are also among the sectors that participate annually in the IEC and consultation planning of CBNC.
According to BPWDCC, the coop store will start its operation once they attain a BIR registration.
“Once we get our BIR registration, we will right away open the store. Our members have been waiting for this project to start already. And we are so happy that CBNC made this possible for us,” said president of the Persons with Disability – Bataraza Federation and BPWDCC Chairman Isagani Valerio.
Valerio added that his vision is to spread out the cooperative to each barangay of the municipality as satellite cooperatives if the operation becomes successful in the next two to three years.
The store was conceptualized to be more than just a business, but also give a helping hand to those who need it. Thru the cooperative store, low-cost goods are available to the members of PWD and the elderly.
CBNC was the company that supported them in the early days of the formation of the cooperative. And thru them, the PWD Bataraza Federation was able to have an ongoing radio program that seeks to educate and inform the members and the public about their rights and privileges.
“Some of our members are being bullied and face discrimination. Thru our radio program, which is being aired in Bandera, we hope to minimize this problem,” added Valerio.
Valerio said that the assistance and support extended by CBNC also boosted their morale to establish the first PWD-run cooperative in the Province of Palawan. Aside from this, Valerio shared that CBNC also provided Php 100,000 worth of assisted devices such as canes, walkers, and wheelchairs. This also includes ICT equipment to strengthen the online registration of PWDs in the municipality of Bataraza, which is mandatory to receive assistance from PhilHealth.
“Isa rin sa nagbibigay sa amin ng lakas ng loob ay itong private sector na hiningian namin ng kaunting tulong; financially, technically, and sa pag-boost ng morale namin. Patungkol sa assisted device needs namin ay nakatulong sila katulad ng walker [at] cane. Kasama na rin ang wi-fi na ginagamit sa ngayon para sa online registration sa Department of Health na mandatory,” he said.
“Ang objective talaga namin ay mapalakas sila, na-inspire kami rito sa nangyaring pandemya at sunud-sunod na mga bagyo. Nakita namin na hirap ‘yong sektor so isa ‘yan sa mga (assistance) naming,” said Amores. He added that CBNC is thinking of ways to further strengthen the sector and provide them with opportunities to improve their daily lives.
The BPWDCC is the first-ever cooperative of PWDs established in Palawan and was registered with the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) on March 24, 2021.